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Ratcatcher was the brilliant feature-film debut of the young Scotswoman Lynne Ramsay, one of the finest new talents in world cinema. It is the summer of 1973, and 12-year-old James Gillespie lives with his family on a Glasgow estate, which looks increasingly wretched as a dustmen’s strike wears on. One day, James inadvertently causes a pal of his to drown in the local canal, and he flees the scene, apparently unseen. He strikes up a touching intimacy with an older girl whom the other estate lads use for sex; and he dreams of leaving the estate for one of the big, clean new houses being built a few miles out of town. But finally James cannot escape his circumstances any more than he can forget about his pal’s untimely death.
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